So here’s my gorgeous and quirky friend Erica. There is no one like this girl, seriously. She has this propensity for being flustered and overwhelmed in such an endearing way, and although more of a wallflower than a diva, she has the most full-bodied and infectious laugh. I’ve known her since elementary school. In third grade, she might have had a seizure on me…I’m not sure if she remembers that…and maybe she won’t take kindly to me bringing it up in a public post. (Seriously, does anyone read these anyways?) I forget that she even has cerebral palsy. Literally, I was shocked to discover recently that, indeed, her one arm is noticeably longer than the other. She certainly doesn’t act “disabled” with all the connotation that carries. No, Erica is going to go far. She’s studying social work, and unlike me, her career path is sure to change the lives of many people in important ways. I’m pretty proud to have a friend as sweet as her to occasionally grab brunch with, vent about how much dating in your 20’s sucks, and get all fired up over the gentrification of cities.
Thank, Erica, for putting up with me and agreeing to be my model for a night.
Here’s my Mary re-creation of an Almay lip gloss ad I saw in ULTA Cosmetics last week. I was hunting for a challenge, and that drop made me stop (and think.) No way is that lovely drop made of lip gloss. Every girl knows that those tubes aren’t exactly flowing out with goop. So…nail polish. I bought myself a tube of lip gloss and a bottle of cheap nail polish in as close a shade of pink as possible. If you want a ridiculously large selection of nail polish, seriously: ULTA. Too bad I don’t have the patience to paint my own nails. Anyways…
I composited this shot from 4-ish: the bottle with top, the ALMAY label without reflection, the wand, and the drip (although the wand shot had a drip, just not as good). Shot with a macro lens and just one light, a small softbox to the left of camera. A white card on the right. After a bit (haha let’s be honest. It’s never a “bit”) of Photoshopping, here’s what I got.
Anyone want some pink lipgloss contaminated by nail polish?
© Mary Hautman. Please don’t use without permission.
Looking for inspiration, I walked into Whole Foods. After inspecting a purple cabbage and a foreign, rather spikey fruit, I discovered a display of the saddest looking satsuma oranges. They were obviously soon moving to the trash. Moldy. Dead leaves. Squished. Bruised. PERFECT. I delicately placed the more interesting specimens in my basket, bought them as a discounted price that didn’t seem steep enough (but it is “Whole Paycheck”), and I brought them to the studio the next day.
I previously discovered this dusty, beautifully window-lit corner of the stairwell n the 100+ year old studio building. The old floors and light quality coming through haven’t-ever-been-cleaned windows was perfect for my sad oranges.
Ideal position for shooting: on my belly. Classic Mary. Arrived wearing black pants. Departed wearing grey ones.
All images © Mary Hautman.
In college, a few times, the assignment of “self-portrait” came up. I HATED it. It forced me in front of the lens, where I feel exposed and uncomfortable. I usually copped out by producing a funny or just pretty image, never really liking them. What was I saying? I was just hiding.
So now, in the uncertainty and raw-ness of life as a post-grad 20-something, I again attempted the self portrait. Keeping to my personal style of lighting and composition and embracing myself as something worth shooting, however reluctant. The idea actually started with a conversation at work about tattoos and how I’ve never wanted to get one. I said, “I like myself naked, bare, and pastey.” I am decorated. With freckles and moles and scars (and bruises). On a body that I’ve struggled all my life to love. The skin no one but me ever sees.
© 2013 Mary Hautman
I recently shot for Tronk Design (tronkdesign.com), the company of Cincinnati-based furniture designer Brad Musuraca. I fell in love with his work, and after meeting him on an editorial photo shoot (when he was featured in Cincinnati Magazine in a story), I knew I’d love to shoot his stuff.
I borrowed the studio of Alias Imaging (my friends John Carrico & Adam Henry, while they’re off shooting a movie in the Congo) and their dynalite strobes. I used a mix of window light (which was gorgeous that day) and the strobes. Also did some bouncing with white cards and mirrors (in the case of the metal clock hands) for fill.
Read up more about Brad and Tronk here: http://www.cincinnatimagazine.com/style/story.aspx?ID=2015761. John Carrico of Alias Imaging shot the photo with that story.
UPDATE: In May, I graduated from Ohio University with a B.S. of Visual Communication in commercial photography, and then I moved back home to pursue freelance assisting for the (admittedly small) community of talented commercial shooters in Cincinnati. A week out of school, I started working regularly for Alias Imaging (John Carrico and Adam Henry). I’ve also worked for Dane Heithaus and Terence Mahone, both of whom I look forward to working with again.
One hitch of graduated though…I stopped shooting. Just stopped. Stopped wanting to shoot even. What kind of photographer lets her camera collect dust? Well, I guess, me. And as weeks became months, I knew I had to just shoot, even if I didn’t like anything I shot, even if I wasn’t inspired. I have to force myself to get those creative cogs going. Whatever the reasons for my complex, my “photographer’s block”, I had to get past it. Here, these binocular shots, are the first of my photography therapy. With my Alias bosses out-of-town and the studio to myself, I took out the hasselblad and SHOT. Praying for inspiration tomorrow and inventing it if not.